General News of Monday, 25 December 2017
Anti-corruption campaigner, Sydney Casely Hayford has noted that the woes of the Special Development Initiative Ministry are better captured as acts of incompetence.
Casely-Hayford believed that the mistakes of the Ministry cannot be termed as corruption as it has got more to do with lack of attention to details
He, however, clarified that despite the fact that the budget was only an intent to expend, such mistakes may give room for people to engage in acts of corruption.
“There are many items like that in there. Some of the more popular ones have been echoed but a situation like that is not corruption. It is incompetence and a lack of attention to detail, so you do not start off suddenly making noise about someone being more corrupt because they have put a piece of paper together saying they intend to spend money.”
“Saying you intend to spend money and putting a piece of paper together is not corruption. It does start a process that might lead to corruption if we are not careful and we are not vigilant enough but it is definitely not corruption,” he added.
Explaining his point during Citi FM’s The Big Issue, the anti-corruption campaigner emphasised that the issues that have come under the public spotlight at the Ministry could more accurately be described as acts of incompetence from the parties concerned.
“A lot of the stuff that we talk about is alleged corruption and unproved corruption. But because of the political swing that you put into it, it becomes so dominating on the media,” Mr. Caseley Hayford opined. The relevance of the Ministry of Special Development Initiatives has been questioned after its 2018 budget allocation was found to be at least five times bigger than other key ministries like Works and Housing and Sanitation,
The Ministry came under fire over its allocation of GHc800,000 for the creation of a website which has been clarified to be typographical error with the real figure being GHC80, 000 for four websites
Casely-Hayford advised the Minority not to belittle the issue into partisanship as that may be detrimental to the country’s efforts at development
“I want to make it very clear that if we keep jumping the gun like the way we are doing out of political expediency, which is what we do all the time, especially the two major political parties, this country will never move forward.”
Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo has fired back at the National Democratic Congress saying his government would not be distracted by baseless accusations of corruption.
He suggested that many of the NDC’s allegations are deliberately crafted to tarnish the image of his government in his first year.
The President referred to a number of corruption scandals that have rocked his government including the bribery scandal involving the Energy Minister, the A-Plus corruption scandal, and the recent extortion allegations levelled against the Trade and Industry Ministry as unsubstantiated.